Aquarium Heaters: Everything You Need to Know and How to Use Them

If you’re new to aquarium keeping, then you may have a few questions and queries about some of the essential equipment. This is why we have put together the Pond Planet complete guide to aquarium heaters to help you get started. Here, we will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about tank heaters so that you have a full understanding of how they work and how to use them. Find all the tips and tricks you need to know about aquarium heaters here and discover which heater is best for you in our buyer’s guide.

Aquarium Heaters FAQs

Do I Need to Leave my Aquarium Heater On All the Time?

Once you have found the right aquarium heater for your tank and decided where it will be best positioned, you may be wondering how long it should be left on. To make things easier, you can leave your aquarium heater on 24/7, as it will have an internal thermostat that turns off the heat when a specific temperature has been reached. This ensures that the tank water will constantly be kept within a few degrees of the desired temperature.

Where Do I Put my Aquarium Heater?

When choosing your aquarium heater, take note of how it is recommended to be positioned in the tank. Some heaters must be stood vertically, whereas others are designed to be laid down horizontally. We recommend placing your heater at a 45-degree angle if possible, as this will allow for even heat distribution throughout the tank. If you’re worried about the heater being unsightly in the tank, then simply conceal it with decorative plants and decor.

Can an Aquarium Heater Burn a Fish?

Although it is not a likely occurrence, it is possible for your aquarium heater to burn your fish. Although, this will only happen in the event that your fish get stuck between the heater and the tank. If your fish does get burnt, these wounds may lead to secondary infections, which should not be dismissed.

To avoid this, the steps are simple. You can ensure that gaps between the heater and glass of the tank are minimal and away from the usual swimming patterns of your aquarium life. If this is not possible, you may also want to invest in a plastic protector, although some aquarium heaters come with this as standard. Make sure you fit it properly instead of disregarding it.

Aquarium Heater Installation

When you first install your aquarium heater, we recommend that you allow the equipment to acclimatise to the water temperature for around 30 minutes before first plugging it in. This will prevent accidental breakage from initial temperature shock. You should also ensure that the heater is submerged in the water before turning it on. If this is not done, the heater will not be able to accurately read the water temperature and regulate it correctly.

It is also important to note that if you keep the heater running when exposed to dry air, this may lead to a burnout or crack in the heater. So, make sure to always unplug the heater when performing water changes in the tank.

Aquarium Heaters Maintenance

Fortunately, your aquarium heater does not require much maintenance. Unless you may want to remove algae from the heater then we recommend doing this with a soft toothbrush to scrub. Otherwise, just keep in mind that when removing the heater for any reason, you wait 30 minutes before handling in order to ensure it has appropriately cooled down.

What to Consider When Using an Aquarium Heater

Here we have rounded up our last few tips we think you should take into consideration when using an aquarium heater!

Quality Over Quantity

When buying your aquarium heater, you should not let the price be a considering factor on your decision. We firmly believe that it is better to buy a high-quality aquarium heater once rather than having to continuously replace cheaper heaters that may work for only a short while before giving up. You should consider this a proper investment for your tank and pets that ensure proper health and safety!

Always Read the Instructions

Never think that the instructions provided with any of your aquarium equipment is unnecessary. You should always take the time to read through heater instructions carefully and keep them on hand for emergencies or breakages rather than throwing the information away. Remember, the instructions are there for a reason!

Keep an Eye on Temperature

Of course, you have chosen an aquarium heater so that you can regulate the temperature of your water. But make sure that you keep an eye on this and don’t let it slip. An essential part of good tank maintenance is spotting any issues before they become serious, and so keep a monitor of your water temperature with a quality thermometer. Place it in the corner of the tank furthest from your water heater to ensure the whole tank is heated properly.

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